We conduct fMRI experiments at the Clinical Research Centre (CRC) at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

CRC exterior

Typical Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria for Participation

These vary from study to study. Generally, we are looking for healthy volunteers who:

have English as a first language
We often use word stimuli in our experiments. We therefore want to make sure that everyone participating approaches my stimuli with a similar amount of ‘baggage’ attached to each word.

have no history of neurological disorder
We aim to draw conclusions about brain use in healthy volunteers without a history of neurological disorder. There are many groups who study people with neurological or psychopathological disorder, with a view to characterising the differences in function that result from these conditions, but we are not currently conducting such studies.

are not currently taking psychoactive medications or recreational drugs
This is for the same reason as above

are right-handed
Language is more likely to be lateralised differently in left-handed people than in right-handed people.   That means that in right-handed people, language is most likely to be dependent on brain regions in the left hemisphere – in left-handed people, it is more likely that left and right hemispheric brain regions will be involved. Again, because we use word stimuli, we like to keep potential differences associated with how the brain deals with language at a minimum, so only scan people who are right-handed.

are between the ages of 18 and 35
The brain develops over the course of the lifespan. We are particularly interested in how the brain functions when it is close to full maturity and has not had too much opportunity for ‘wear and tear’.

don’t have implants that should not be exposed to high magnetic fields
The scanner uses a very strong magnetic field to image the brain, and this magnetic field can have undesirable effects on medical implants and ferrous metal in the body.  Due to the potential effects that the magnetic field could have on electrical impulses and mechanical movements, we never scan potential participants who have heart implants or implants with moving parts. Ferrous metals that have inadvertently entered the body (e.g. in home-made tattoos or metal fragments in jewelers’ or welders’ eyes) are also unsafe to expose to the magnetic fields we use in fMRI.

If you would like to participate in an fMRI experiment, we can let you know more about studies we am running if you send an e-mail to aro2@st-andrews.ac.uk or call Akira O’Connor on +44(0)1334 462077.

Typical Participant Compensation

Participants are typically reimbursed for their time at a rate of £10/hour + £10 transport costs (see below for travel options). Studies usually last 2 hours, so the average participant is compensated with £30 for their participation in an experiment.

Getting to the CRC from St Andrews

Public Transport
Ninewells Hospital is well served by buses from St Andrews. The Stagecoach Timetables page will help you plan your journey. Ninewells have a ‘How to Find Us’ page with more information on travelling to the hospital.

From the Ninewells bus stances, it is a 5 minute walk to the CRC as follows:

Car:
The CRC is on James Arrott  Drive.

There is a free carpark for CRC participants right outside the CRC – if you would like a space reserved, please let us know in advance of your scan.  When you reach the carpark, you will need to use the buzzer to contact the CRC reception in order to be let in.

Driving directions from St Andrews are as follows: